The World’s Largest Coal Mining Company Just Invested $1.2 Billion In Solar Power

Editor’s Note: I am extremely excited to announce that The Higher Learning recently acquired three talented new authors to help us bring you more valuable news and knowledge.

Over the next few days we will be introducing you to them and their writing. The following article was authored by Noah Harness. 

In the early 1970s, the government of India nationalized the country’s coal reserves to help accommodate the country’s rising energy demands.

By 1975, the Indian government was in control of the majority of the country’s coal mines and infrastructure, and established Coal India Limited (a state-owned company) to consolidate business operations.

Coal India quickly grew and became a major player in the global coal industry. But in recent years, however, India has been turning away from coal and fossil fuels in favor of clean, renewable energy.

India has already announced plans to construct the largest solar plant in the world. This innovative approach towards renewable energy will empower India as a leading energy giant for years to come.

lndia’s largest solar plant in Gujarat (Image courtesy of Clean Technica)

A big part of this shift to renewable energy is newly-elected Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. From the day he was elected (and even before that), Modi has sought to deal with the growing ethical concerns of coal pollution while taking advantage of rapid improvements in solar technology.

During his campaign, Modi made a pledge to increase government investment in renewable energy sources with the goal of delivering permanent electrical power to every home and business within the next five years.

India, which is the largest democracy in the world, plans to invest $100 billion dollars in energy resources, including solar and wind. These long-term investments will boost the Indian infrastructure, limiting consumer demand for coal and ultimately reducing India’s trade deficit significantly.

trade deficit: the difference between a country’s imports and exports

Less than two weeks ago, on September 24th, Bloomberg reported that the Indian Supreme Court had, “canceled 214 of 218 coal-mine permits,” forcing India to import any coal it continues to use.

Modi is further encouraging the energy shift by distributing subsidies to the army, railroads and other public sector companies that construct solar plants using domestically manufactured equipment.

On top of that, India has doubled the tax on both imported and domestically-mined coal, using the revenues to fund environmental development projects and research.

The shift will increase the number of jobs available in India as well as boosting the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

Prime Minister Norendra Modi gestures to power plant at Bhagwanpur in Neemuch

Prime Minister Norendra Modi gestures to power plant at Bhagwanpur in Neemuch

Though there has been growing sentiment against coal-giants lately, Coal India Limited holds one of the more environment-friendly track records among Indian coal companies.

With growing concern from consumers about the ethical dilemmas and unsustainability of fossil-fuels, Coal India Limited has decided that it’s time to change its business model, tranforming it to pursue a more sustainable (yet still profitable) future.

In the decades to come, fossil fuels will no longer be the dominant source of energy. Realizing that the days of coal dominance are coming to an end, Coal India Limited is adapting to a changing world.

Read the original story from Renew Economy here.


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